Block of limestone with paint

Object description

Limestone block with red pigments (iron oxide / hematite) on several sides. There are two hypotheses about its origin: the first is that it is a fragment of wall with evidence of painting of an animal, produced by the oldest occupants of the cave, between 12,000 and 5,000 years ago and which moved from its original location. The second is that it would be an isolated block and would have been used as a color palette by the same occupants. But the fact is that it remained in situ, on the ground and was covered by the sediments resulting from the second occupation by horticultural peoples of Una Tradition who used the cave as a ceremonial place of burials, since at least 4,500 years before the present.

Source: Gentio Cave. Unaí, MG (p.52, in: A Pesquisa do passado arqueologia no Brasil, pag.52).

Cultural affiliation of the object

Prehistoric period

Paleo-Indian tradition or hunter-gatherers

Location Unaí, Minas Gerais

Gruta do gentio II site, MG RP 06

Level 60 – 70 cm (23,6 – 27,5 inches)

Cultural analysis of the object

Type Color Palette

Limestone rock material

Dimension 70 x 36 x 26 cm (27,5 x 14,1 x 10,2 inches)

Dating ≥ 10,600 BP (8,660 years BC)

IAB 1987 Collection Source

Catalog 534